tv [untitled] CSPAN March 10, 2010 8:00pm-8:30pm EST
patriot, a great son of texas and somebody that those who knew him, he was very, very loyal to. so god bless charlie wilson and his family. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. representative defazio from oregon. >> mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does. >> i ask to speak out of order for five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman has five minutes. . mr. edwards: charlie wilson was bigger than life and he was as real as the texas day is long. i considered it a privilege and a joy to know him as a colleague and as a friend. most americans will forever know charlie wilson from the movie "charlie wilson's war." i asked people who knew charlie if he was as collarful as he was
portrayed to be in that movie. that movie was the only time ever that hollywood had to tone down reality in order to make it believable. i have no idea whether charlie ever read shakespeare. but whether he did or not, the twuth is he personified -- the truth is he personified hamlet. this above all, to thine ownself be true and it must follow the night, the day, thoust cannot be faulted to any men. did he know charlie wilson? he was not fault to any man, any person or any constituent, not ever. he was a real thing and i think in this sometimes cynical world,
that is what all of this blessed to know him as a friend found so very enduring about him. in fact, mr. speaker, a number of charlie's former colleagues who served with him, members of the texas delegation, has asked that we include their remarks in respect to charlie, his life and his spirit. and i would ask unanimous consent to be able to do that. also, mr. speaker, i would like to insert into the record the remarks of ralph hall, who served many years with charlie. and i would just summarize one statement made by ralph about his good friend charlie. said he was a courageous and kind man, with a strong sense of justice that compelled him to work for the good of others. while he was -- the speaker pro tempore: the remarks will be covered under general leave. mr. edwards: he was known as
good-time charlie and he did enjoy life. charlie wilson spent his entire adult life in serious business of public service to our nation. he graduated from the naval academy and then served our nation as a lieutenant and as a naval intelligence officer. at the age of 27, he was elected to the texas legislature, where he was known as the liberal from lofkin supporting minimum wage, medicaid and equal rights amendment. in 1972, he was elected to congress, where he became known as a champion of a strong national defense, a friend of average working families and yes, someone who played a key role in bringing down the communist soviet union. who would have ever guessed my friends and colleagues from texas, that charles hazard of
trinity, texas, many years ago, killing his neighbor's 13-year-old dog would lead to the soviet union, the mighty soviet union falling some day? history is an interesting thing and charlie wilson will always be a part of it in playing a key role in one of the most monumental achievements in our nation's history. charlie wilson did what every one of us, republican or democrat, would dream to do and would dream that it be set about us at the end of our public service careers. charlie wilson made a difference. he made a difference for the state of texas, for his constituents in east texas. he made a difference for america. and yes, he made a difference for the world. to his widow barbara and to his sister, my dear friend in my hometown of waco, texas, i hope they know our thoughts and
prayers are with them. thank you and your family for sharing with us and for sharing with the world this great treasure that god brought into this world and his spirit will be with us always. may god bless charlie wilson and the great land that he loved. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. mr. burton from indiana. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> request to address the house for five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. five minutes. mr. gohmert: mr. speaker, i do rise in tribute to charlie wilson. he was a constituent of mine. he was an inspiration to me. for those who don't know, he was born in trinity, texas and had education at sam houston state university. he attended the u.s. naval academy. he loved this country. he was willing to lay down his life for this country.
between 1956 and 1960, charlie wilson served in the united states navy, attained the rank of lieutenant. and the man knew about defending america. it was a part of his heart and soul and was something he carried with him throughout his life. his political career began in 1960 when he was elected to the texas house of representatives and as my friend, mr. edwards, mentioned actually, the official version is, it began in 1960 when he was elected to the house of representatives in texas, but actually it did begin when his neighbor poisonned his dog and charlie got so active as a young high school kid, he started taking people to the polls to make sure there were enough people to defeat the man that poisonned his dog. that was his start in politics.
but he saw what one person could do if they were determined enough and sincere enough and gave it their all. but he was also, give a little more of his history, served in the texas house of representatives for six years and then elected to the texas senate in 1960. and then in 1972, the 2nd district of texas elected charlie to the u.s. house of representatives. and it wasn't until 1996 that he decided not to run again. his slogan that he used throughout his campaigns. pretty well summarizes the man, wilson gets it done. and charlie did. now he is from what some people call the bible belt. and what i've heard from constituents many times is yes, we knew about charlie's issues, but the thing about charlie, he was always honest about them. and i can't help but -- i will
never forget when we were naming the v.a. clinic for the man who is the reason -- it's in texas, the v.a. secretary came and spoke and i had the honor of introducing charlie and charlie got up. and he was really emotional. and he told the crowd there -- there was a huge crowd that assembled at the civic center in his honor and he said very emotionally, i love you people, 16 times you overlooked my personal indiscretions and allowed me to represent you. now there aren't many politicians that would stand up and say, you overlooked my personal indiscretions 16 times and let me represent you, but charlie did. that was charlie. and he made no bones about it. he was what he was. and in fact, when tip o'kneel
put him on -- o'neil put him on the ethics committee, he said i love women and whiskey. his constituents loved him. he was always honest about things and that goes so far and everyone should take notice of that fact, that america loves people who are honest with them. and he tike care of seniors. i heard that offer and over. charlie wilson took care of those who couldn't take care of themselves and it was one of the reasons that people loved him in east texas and one of the things that inspires me, having seen what he did. here i was, a republican. he was a democrat. he always made time if i had questions, what do you think about afghanistan? because nobody knew more about afghanistan than charlie. he always had sage advice and i
appreciated that. i would like to quote jim turner that followed charlie in congress. jim said, he described him as a dedicated public servant who fought hard for the people of his district. and i would just like to also pay tribute -- i know that barbara his widow, is still mourning his loss and will for a long time to come. barbara wilson made a difference in charlie's life. barbara sustained and prolonged charlie's life. he loved her, he loved her family. they loved him. and she made a difference in his life just as he made a difference in this country, just as charlie showed what one man can do, when he puts his mind to it, this body ought to always be inspired by the muslimry of the great late -- by the memory of the great late charlie wilson.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. ms. kaptur from ohio. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> i would like to be heard out of order and revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> i did not know charlie wilson, but i know friends of charlie wilson. and based upon what his friends say, he was truly a remarkable person. i admire people who march to the beat of a different drummer. i admire people who are original, who do things in a very good way, but they do the things that they do in their very own way. it appears that charlie wilson was such a person. while he could have easily have been a great congressperson representing the people of his district and not traveling
abroad, he took it upon himself to not only help the people of afghanistan, but to go there and be a part of it and to actually take others into afghanistan as well to help people with a resistance movement. he marched to the beat of a different drummer. he did not allow the circumstances of what we call the norm to prevent him from doing unusual things in a most significant way. i regret that i did not have the opportunity to meet him, because i believe that such a person has a positive impact on the lives around him. and ai listen to his friends speak so highly of what he was able to do here in the congress of the united states of america, i only can say, charlie, i
didn't have an opportunity to meet you on this side, but i know that at some point, i'll have an opportunity to meet you. and i want you to share some of those many stories with me. you have been a friend of this country and this country loves you. god bless you, charlie. i know wherever your there is a good time being had. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. mr. conaway of texas. >> i ask unanimous consent to speak to the house for five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. conaway: this afternoon we had a debate about the future role in afghanistan. i firmly believe there are differences of opinion on this war and support for the war. however i'm grateful that this house has overwhelmingly objected running from america's vital interests and the people of afghanistan. our debate presented a stark choice, to stay or go in
afghanistan, there is no middle ground, no hedging and i can muster, i resolutely oppose our retreat from afghanistan. we have been reminded that the war in afghanistan was the good war, that it was the war of necessity over the war of choice. i stand here today to remind my colleagues of their many statements in that regard. we did not seek our war. our enemies sought us out. we did not march for profit or plunder. we wanted to ensure that they don't use wage war on terrorized civilians. we didn't ask for this war, but now that it has come, we can't loosen the responsibility. our goals in afghanistan are difficult, continually to forge a partnership with the afghanies will take military might, and hard taxpayers' dollars to succeed. the president understand the
seriousness of the task. they have repeated that afghanistan is the epicenter of al qaeda and it is essential to secure peace here in the region and here at home. our partners are bringing peace. it is their homes that are destroyed and children have perished. yet these people have stood next to our soldiers to fight for their future because we have told them we will bring order to their chaos. we have discussed the cost of war and we have to consider what we have paid to fight this fight. practically speaking, no retreat today means -- to retreat today means the afghan central government will fail. when it fails, the afghani government will return to what it was. the taliban will welcome home jihaddists back to their soil.
they will expand their fight to the tribal areas of pakistan which has the potential to destabilize a nuclear power. while it would be easy to estimate what we have spent so far and what we will spend, it is impossible to know the call amounties that have prevented. there is no cost that can be put on stabilizing pakistan and no price that can be put on pakistan and india. failure in these developments will hurt our national security, yet a retreat will make it more likely. americans want peace. none of us want our friends or family to be deployed overseas. however, peace will not come until our enemies are within our destruction. until that day, talk of leaving afghanistan means our enemies will bring the fight back to us.
there can be no peace in afghanistan. whether we leave today, tomorrow, this war does not end simply because we choose not to be engaged. the taliban will return. with their return, they will expand their efforts and provide sanctuary and will try to continue to murder americans. i hope and pray when our armed forces do come home. until our enemies lay down their arms, our military must remain out there on this wall doing their duty to uphold america's democracy and our safety. we have spent so much time today discussing abandonning our allies. i know our partners were watching what was said. it is my firm hope they see today's vote for what it is, the overwhelming voice of the house of representatives announcing we will not abandoned our friends and i yield back.
gentleman from ohio, mr. boccieri, is recognized for the remainder of the hour. mr. boccieri: thank you, mr. speaker. sorry for the confusion this evening. but tonight i'm joined by several of my colleagues from around the country who want to talk to you about the economy and how we're working hard here in congress to set the record straight but also, more importantly, to put our people back to work. if you remember, when we took office, mr. speaker, we were suffering from one of the worst recessions since the great depression. in fact, many have called in the great recession. and there's a contemporary insurance ironically of all commercials, there's a temporary insurance commercial out on the airways today that says, how will we remember the time and our experience? will we remember this time as the great recession or the recession that made us great? and i think tonight you're going to hear from my colleagues who
say that we are going to be remembered for the recession that will once again make this country as great as it has been in the past. by focusing on real things, real challenges and offering up real solutions. when we took office, mr. speaker, the economy was in freefall. we didn't know where we were going to land. record job losses were across the airwaves, people were standing in lines, waiting for unemployment checks, and we found out that it was the most significant job loss since the great depression. record job losses, we didn't know where the economy was going to fall. two undeclared, unfunded wars, a banking system in chaos and greed on wall street. was a perfect prescription for a perfect storm and one that has led us to where we now have enormous challenges in front of us. the job market was losing
750,000 jobs a month and unemployment was climbing just as fast. the economy was contracting at a rate of over 6%. the worst in decades. foreclosures were at record levels, home prices had plummeted by 30%, the decline of home prices, stock values and pensions, retirement plans have cost american households over $10 trillion in wealth. and in fact since the great -- or since the depression -- the great recession had started, mr. speaker, since 2007, americans' wealth have plummeted by $17.5 trillion according to the federal reserve. $17.5 trillion loss of wealth since the recession started in june of 2007. it didn't start to pick up until the american recovery and reinvestment act. now, we've heard a lot of hype
about the american recovery and reinvestment act. we heard a lot about the fact that this was the largest investment of capital in our nation's history, we've heard a lot about the fact that this was the largest tax reduction in our country's history. and faced with this economic meltdown that we were handed when we walked into the door here in the 111th dong, -- congress, it required swift action. and, mr. speaker, i believe that members of congress will be judged by two measures, by action or inaction. and the congress took swift action to act as a backstop against further job loss to create jobs that are on the way. that's what the stimulus was about. and every economic expert you speak to today says that this brought us back from the brink of a great depression. so i want to tell those today that it wasn't until we enacted the stimulus bill, the american recovery and reinvestment act,
that americans' wealth started to grow again. and in fact we see pensions are starting to climb, we see the fact that americans' i.r.a.'s and 401-k's are back on the path to prosperity and we've recognized a $5 trillion recovery since the american recovery and reinvestment act. the stimulus. we're starting to create jobs, albeit not at the pace that i would like to see, but we have to understand the ditch we're starting to climb out of. and i want to say to you that while we see manufacturing increasing, while we see home sales increasing, we need to see more and more people get back to work and that's what my colleagues are focusing here today. around the world over the last century the typical financial crisis caused jobless rates to rise almost five years according to the economist rinehart. over the timeline, our rate
would still be rising by early 2012 and as ben bernanke and henry paulson said, if dramatic action was not taken to break back the recession, the united states could spiral into another great depression. these are experts, these are economists, these are people who have distinction and recognition all around the world. and it's important that we recognize that we had to take swift action here. in the fourth quarter of 2009 the economy grew by almost 6%, 6%. job losses for the fourth quarter of 2009 were 1/7 of what they were when we took office, mr. speaker. the nonpartisan center for budget and policy priorities said that keeping the american recovery act, keeping more than six million americans out of poverty and reducing the severity of poverty for more than 33 million more.
you can imagine what it would be like if we didn't enact a robust policy to extend unemployment benefits, to extend coverage for health care so folks could keep their health care during this time of great need? could you imagine if we didn't help our people, what kind of condition we would find the people that we represent? well, it's disappointing, because the challenges that confront us, mr. speaker, aren't democratic democrat or republican challenges, they're not conservative or liberal challenges, they're not even moderate challenges, they're american challenges. and it's so frustrating to me that we have got to find the courage to stand up and confront these together and that's why i'm so disappointed in my colleagues who didn't lend their support to help america recover in her greatest time of need. a few more facts before i ask some of my colleagues to be recognized here. according to economists polled in a rece